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Hard times after the war

A photograph of 2 March 1969, when the Conway Street project of redevelopment had been established for a few years. The view is from the corner of Ellen Place looking to Ellen Street and Clarendon Road, showing the completed flats Ellen House and Goldstone House.
Image reproduced with kind permission of The Regency Society and The James Gray Collection

Our flat’s unwelcome visitors

I lived in Ellen Place from 1947 until 1951, at the northern end on the right hand side. My parents Bill and Audrey Wade had a flat above a wood cutter’s yard, and I was told we shared our home with many other unwelcome creatures – rats and mice. My Dad told me they stored a lot of photos and personal documents in suitcases and trunks, as space was at a premium, but sadly, when they moved to Poynings Drive in 1951, they discovered the precious contents had been used by our little friends to nest in. On opening the cases they found that everything had been shredded, including many old photos and important documents.

Hard days after the war

Whilst living at Ellen Place, we had a chimney fire and the ceiling in the one bedroom I shared with my parents, apparently collapsed onto my cot – thankfully I wasn’t in it at the time. Goodness, those days must have been so hard for my Mum and Dad, though I suppose because it was just after the war, they were lucky to have a place to live. I am sure when they were eventually given a council house in Poynings Drive they must have been ecstatic.

The steps to Hove Station

My father used to commute daily to London, via Hove Station and I have on occasions, climbed the much worn steps at the end of Conway Street, taking me up towards the station. Whenever I did this it took me back in time, wondering just how many other people over the years have climbed those steps, as they made their way to Hove station. I am trying to remember who lived opposite us in the terraced houses, but the names escape me. On the southern, right hand corner, there was a bookmaker – Buddy Holland’s, with steep steps up to the entrance – does anyone remember this?

If you remember the area at this time and can share your memories with us, please post a comment below. Or do you live in the there today? Tell us what the area is like now by posting a comment below.

Comments about this page

  • It appears that the photographer is standing in what is (now at least) Conway Place, the western continuation of Conway Street, which can be seen running off diagonally to the left in the foreground. If Ellen Place is the road running off diagonally to the right (where one front wheel of a car can just be seen at the right hand edge of the photo), then I think it is still there today. (Strangely, it currently has no road signs at either end. This may be because there are no properties with frontages on this particular road.) Can anyone confirm this please?

    By Alan Hobden (28/08/2013)
  • If there are any more photos (not from the James Gray Collection) of the buildings under construction and the surrounding streets before and during demolition, I would like to see them. This photo was taken in Conway Street looking down Ellen Place (which was built over when the semi-industrial sheds went up) to the back of Ellen House and you can see the south-side terrace in Clarendon Road through the gap between Ellen House and Goldstone House.  Low-rise 2-storey flats were later put between each of these two buildings. To the right (out of frame) is Clarendon House and Conway Place is much further to the right – the other side of Conway Court.

    Editor’s note: you can search the collection yourself here. Enjoy. Jennifer

    By Valerie Paynter (11/04/2015)

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